Going To See Matchbox Twenty in Concert

We’re going to San Jose to see Matchbox Twenty perform live in concert at the HP Pavillion¬†tonight. I’ll be packing my “point-and-shoot” as the HP Pavillion actually has a pretty lenient camera policy (you can read it here, the 6th bullet point) allowing you to bring a camera to most events as long as the lens does not exceed 6 inches… It just takes a bit of creative thinking to bring in the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM to take pics like these at the Keith Urban concert.

Andrea and Rich

Chapter 1: Chance Encounter

How we met, I’ll never forget. How we were happy before we met, I can’t even remember it. Our story begins by a chance encounter, serendipity if you will. A young lady with the most enchanting green eyes was seeking assistance in removing the amber diffusers from her front headlights.

This lady, Andrea, happened to wander onto a car forum that my friend and I frequent. What she sought, we just so happen to provide. That sparked numerous of private messages back and forth which eventually graduated to e-mails. The conversations were mainly about what she wanted to do to her car, occasional work related ranting, and just ranting in general. We’d also settled on the meeting time and date, Saturday, April 26, 2003 at about 10 a.m..

The amber diffuser removal went smoothly and we also installed the navigation conversion kit into her car that allows her to watch DVD movies and television (I had convinced her to get this mod during one of our many chat sessions. After that day, I think Andrea caught a case of the “mod-bug” (the continuing fascination to mod one’s vehicle and diligently searching for new modifications) because we continued to talk about more car modifications. Picture 007Part of it, I think, we were both looking for an excuse to continue talking to each other. By this point we were primarily communicating at work on AOL Instant Messenger (AIM). After awhile we were calling each other up on our breaks, then breaks and lunch, and finally breaks, lunch, and at home also. We were spending more and more time talking less and less about cars and more about each other, our jobs, and life in general. To this day, I have not met anyone else who can capture my attention and captivate me for as long as Andrea can. We quickly became best friends. In the couple months we spoke since our first meeting (we had a few other ones after that one to continue modding Andrea’s car), we had such a familiarity and comfort level with each other, another person could have mistaken us for old buddies that have a long history together. We shared all our deepest, most private secrets, dreams, and hopes, unabashed with each other. At one point, we were speaking to each other on AIM, on the phone for breaks, on the phone for lunch, on the phone when we got home until we had to go to bed!

Chapter 2: Our Story

It should be no surprise where all that talking and sharing of secrets would 2006-12-11 - Las Vegas - 068eventually lead to. Our first date involved a romantic movie (Cold Mountain) at AMC Theater’s and dinner at a TGI Friday’s in San Jose. I remember being nervous, but very ecstatic at the same time; we spent the night immersed in each other’s conversation. This was in January 2004. I’ve found many interests that I didn’t know I had before I met Andrea; from music (I never even knew who Air Supply was until I met Andrea) to being outdoors to wine and champagne. Andrea has been a very positive influence on my life; actually she has been the other half of my life, in all honesty. Just a look at the many hundreds of pictures of places we’ve been together is but a small glimpse into the fun we have together. Without a doubt, she is the One.

Chapter 3: A New Chapter, Together

Before the mark of a new year, I finally proposed to my love; to which she accepted. Now begins our new journey towards a life together as husband and wife.

Chapter 4: I Now Present Mr. and Mrs. Richard Bui

On a beautiful day, October 6 of 2007, Andrea and I tied the knot becoming Mr. and Mrs. Richard Bui. It was a joyous day shared by family and our closes friends. To find out more about our journey, please visit our personal website at AndreaandRichard.com.

On Atkins: Our Story

Andrea’s Story

In 1997, I worked for Lucky (now Albertsons) as a checker, I started to gain weight. Perhaps it was due to not exercising as much (after all, checkers just stand in one spot all day), or maybe it was the dining out. I had never heard of the now infamous “Atkins Diet”, until a certain regular customer told me about it. He was very fit, bulging biceps, basically he looked like a body builder. After seeing him regularly come through my line, I noticed a pattern. He always bought the same items; mostly steak (rare occasions other meats), cheese, occasional vegetables, and water. That was all he bought.

I had never heard of the now infamous “Atkins Diet”, until a certain regular customer told me about it.

– Andrea

One day I asked him why that was all he bought. He mentioned it was the healthiest way to eat. Of course, I was shocked and disagreed with him. After all, this was at the height of the “low fat” craze. I mentioned that I wanted to lose weight and his advice was to eat meat, nuts, and cheese. I didn’t give another thought to it after that because of course it sounded like it would never work. On the next visit through my line, a week later, he gave me a book.

That book was “Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution.” I was surprised and I thought I’ll just read it for the hell of it. After I read the whole book, it all made sense and it would soon literally change my life. I decided to try “Induction Period” for two weeks. After a few days on the “diet” I felt my energy soar, clothes looser, and just overall healthy. After two weeks, I lost 7 pounds. I really felt great and decided to make this a lifestyle change, rather than a diet. To this day I’m still a strong believer of low carb, high protein, high fat (the good fats).

— Andrea

Rich’s Story

I had heard of Atkins before. Back when my three buddies and I used to go to SJSU’s Gym, there was a guy who worked there who was on Atkins. We didn’t know until they put up a poster of him and his story. It mentioned how he had at one point weighed like 300lbs and wanted to take lose that weight, so he got on Atkins and dropped to like 160lbs. It was quite amazing. But at the time, I was not the wiser and had believed, as many still do, that Atkins was dangerous and how it could cause brain damage, etc.

It mentioned how he had at one point weighed like 300lbs and wanted to take lose that weight, so he got on Atkins and dropped to like 160lbs.

– Rich

It was until I met Andrea, did I think more of it. She truly changed my life by introducing me to a healthy lifestyle that I had previously known before. I started Atkins in September 2003 and have since lost 60lbs forever. Because of her, I have never felt better or more alive. It’s a wonderful feeling when I was able to put on size 36 pants…especially since before I was starting to wear a size 42. I went from shirt sizes of XL-XXL to medium. Where I was content before being a couch potato, now I enjoy going out and experiencing life. Since reading the Atkins New Diet Revolution book that Andrea gave me, it has been a huge impact on my life in a very positive way.

An example of what I used to eat was: fast food for lunch and dinner. I ate big meals too. Supersize, quadruple size, seconds… everything! It was crazy. I also used to drink nothing but soda. I could finish 2 liters of soda like nothing. I never drank any water what-so-ever. Whenever I was thirsty, I reached for my Pepsi to quench my thirst. All the most sugary of stuff, I used to love. I had stashes of snacks of chocolate, cake, potatoe chips, etc. I was horribly unhealthy then. I believe that if I didn’t stop the was I was eating when I did; I probably would be diabetic now or have suffered my first heart attack. I never used to eat any vegetables or fruits either. My diet was mainly sugar and high fat…the worse combination possible.

— Rich